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When to Replace Bow Strings

When to Replace Bow Strings

Posted by Todd Lambright on Jul 3rd 2019

Looking for a simple rule that determines when to replace bow strings? You’ve come to the right place. There are a number of factors that affect how fast your strings wear out, including how often you shoot, where you shoot, and how you maintain and store your bow. It’s kind of like replacing your vehicle’s tires. Learn to recognize the signs that it’s time for a replacement so you can keep shooting your best. 

When to replace bow strings and cables depends on how often you shoot, your shooting environment, and how the bow is stored and maintained. These factors all play a big part in how long your bow string and cables will last. This article will help to understand when you should replace your bow string and cables. 

Target or Hunting? 

As a bow string manufacturer, two of the most asked questions we get are “how often do my bow string and cables need replaced” and “how do I know when it’s time to replace my bow string and cables.” The answer is simple. Like most bow companies, we recommend changing bow string and cables once a year on target bows and every two years on hunting bows. Target bows require more frequent restring since they see more shooting than a comparable hunting bow. Plus, a lot of target bows shoot lighter target arrows that exert more force on the bow string and cables compared to a heavier hunting arrow.

It’s also important to consider several variables that affect the life span your bow string and cables and when to replace your bow string and cable:

  • How often you shoot 
  • your shooting environment 
  • how the bow is stored 
  • how the bow is maintained 

These factors all play a big part in how long your bow string and cables will last. Remember that your bow string and cables are under extreme tension even if no shots are being fired. Over time, constant tension breaks down bow string material, causing it to stretch, fray, and wear out.

Every year we hear the same stories from our customers. “My bow string is only five years old, and I haven’t shot it much but when I opened my bow case this season it was broke.” I compare replacing bow string and cables to changing the oil in a car. You change your oil every 3,000 miles to keep your car running better and to last longer. Since you’ve invested hundreds if not over a thousand dollars in your bow setup, why not spend $75 on a new set of bow strings every couple of years to keep it at top performance and to lengthen its life?

How to Recognize a Worn String

Because strings wear slowly over a long period of time, it may be difficult to recognize the gradual loss of performance. If you realize that your bow isn’t shooting as fast or accurate as it once did, that’s when to replace bow strings.

You can also recognize a worn string by inspecting it visually and running your finger gently down the length of the string. If you notice that your string looks or feels fuzzy or dry and brittle, or if the strings look like they’re frayed or separating, it’s overdue for a change. While you can apply wax to improve the lifespan of a wearing string, you’re really better off just changing it out.

Check the Timing Marks

Many modern compound bows have a handy visual aid that helps you determine when to replace bow strings. Check your cams to see if there are timing marks on it. These marks give you a reference point of how your string should be positioned. If they’re off, that means that it’s probably time for replacement strings or at least some general maintenance.

Does Changing Strings Really Make a Difference?

Yes. Every single shot sends tremendous amounts of energy and power throughout the string. It’s natural that they would degrade and stretch over time. Upgrading your bow with new strings can restore your bow to better-than-new condition. Because you lose performance so slowly over time, you may be blown away when you finally replace your worn string.

Order Custom Strings Today

Now that you know when to replace bow strings, it might be time to replace yours, because having the right bow strings makes a difference. We’re here to make it easy for you. We’re proud to offer the highest quality custom strings in the world. Choose from a variety of materials and colors so you can upgrade your bow to your exact preferences. Call our pro shop at 724-525-3972 or message us online for expert assistance. Join our newsletter for more helpful articles.